Editorial: Vandalizing memorial is lowest of the low

All crime is reprehensible in one way or another. That’s why it’s a crime to do those things.

All crime is reprehensible in one way or another. That’s why it’s a crime to do those things.

But it really is the lowest of the low to vandalize a memorial to someone who has died.

But just months after vandals struck the Pioneer Cemetery off of Herd Road in North Cowichan, destroying dozens of historic headstones that have stood marking graves, some for more than a century, another despicable person has hit a newer target.

Police are now looking for suspects in the painting over of a memorial to 22-year-old Brayden Gale, who drowned tragically at Chemainus Lake.

The memorial was put up on Aug. 11 and sometime on Aug. 13-14 someone came along and attempted to destroy it.

“I can’t imagine how disheartening this must be for Brayden’s family and friends,” said Cpl. Krista Hobday from the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment in a press release on the subject.

We echo her sentiment.

Whoever did this is frighteningly lacking in empathy.

Gale died just last year, and his family and friends are no doubt still grieving their terrible loss.

The memorial is something positive and beautiful that has been done to remember the person they have lost.

For it to be attacked so senselessly is beyond the pale.

For someone to do it, they can’t know what such a loss is like, and lack the imagination to put themselves in someone else’s shoes. It is an extreme of selfishness manifested in paint and stupidity.

It is also sad that a code of silence seems all too often to protect the people that do this kind of thing from suffering the repurcussions of their actions.

It is highly likely that the family or friends of the culprits know exactly who it is that has perpetrated these acts of destruction.

Yet they seem to feel the need to protect the vandals, whether out of fear or just an idea that it’s not cool to rat out your friends.

What’s not cool is causing more pain to people who are already hurting.

Letting the vandals get away with it just encourages them to do it again.

After all, why not?

Cases like this would be perfect for restorative justice. Someone who does something like this should have to face the people affected and explain themselves. They would be forced to understand just how pathetic their reasons are. They should have to hear just what their few minutes with a brush or a spray can really meant.